Pudong Airport Maglev in Depth

Believe me. This article is the most in depth one on the topic of Maglev of Shanghai Pudong Airport. I have talked about Maglev before in these two articles: Maglev Operates in Shanghai and Ticket for Maglev Tour. Here are the Maglev pictures I always planned to take.

Below: Before I see the real Maglev train on the rail, the large advertisement of Maglev on the way out of PVG (Pudong Airport) has attracted my attention. SIEMENS is famous in China but the name of ThyssenKrupp was heard only when Maglev is mentioned. I believe most passengers will see this Maglev advertisement when they just get into a cab or his car and drive out of PVG.


Maglev Advertisement © Jian Shuo Wang

Maglev Leaving Station

I walked across a long way from the Departure Hall of PVG to the rail road of the Maglev line. Below is the entrance of the station for the Maglev trains. The two guard asked me to stay away from the rail road politely. They said there will be no train today. Obviously, they were lying just to keep me away from the Maglev rail.


Gate of the Maglev Station. © Jian Shuo Wang

Just before I turned and started to go away, a Maglev train started from the station and headed to downtown Shanghai. I quickly pointed the camera and took the picture below (My first Maglev picture). The head of the train just got out of the station.


Maglev Train with Head Just Out of Station. © Jian Shuo Wang

Below is a series of pictures showing the Maglev train moving away.


Maglev head out of Station. Photo 2. © Jian Shuo Wang


© Jian Shuo Wang


© Jian Shuo Wang

The startup speed of Maglev is not very fast, but it just disappeared before I can see the train clearly.


Maglev left station – far away from where I stayed. © Jian Shuo Wang


Maglev almost out of sight. © Jian Shuo Wang

Maglev On Railway

Later, I found the train would pass the station and reach the other side of the station, stay there for about 2 minutes and then move back into the station, take the passenger and go for the downtown direction. So I have plenty of time to take more pictures for this most advanced train in the world. You can see the Maglev train is parking near the tower of the airport.


Maglev and the control tower of the Pudong Airport. © Jian Shuo Wang

The same picture with horizontal view.


Maglev and the control tower of the Pudong Airport – horizontal version © Jian Shuo Wang

The above two Maglev pictures were quoted in some books and TV commercials (in Japan).

From the picture below, you can clearly see the head of the train and the “Shanghai Transrapid” mark on the Maglev train.


Maglev with Shanghai transrapid on the train. © Jian Shuo Wang

This is the cart for the train. It seems the seat in it is very comfortable. I didn’t get into the cart yet since the ticket price for the tour (before it officially operate) is just too high. (Update: The price was cut twice and now it is 40 RMB for single trip if you hold the ticket of the flight of the same day. Aug-2007)


© Jian Shuo Wang


The over head bridge connecting Pudong Airport and the Maglev station.


© Jian Shuo Wang

Below: This is the end the Maglev’s railway. The huge installation and testing cart was parked on the right railway.


© Jian Shuo Wang

Below: More details about the huge machine.


© Jian Shuo Wang

Looking from the other side of the railway. A big german guy was working on the electronic equipment near the train, but I forgot to take a picture for him.


© Jian Shuo Wang

The lovely tree before the Maglev station.


© Jian Shuo Wang

Fantanstic Train

I hope the Maglev train will operate as scheduled despite of the recent technical difficulties.

Note: Please give credit to this site if you want to use any of the picture. Yes. I grant anyone the permission to use the pictures on this page as long as 1) It is for non-commercial use. 2) Links back.

Updated Aug 18, 2003

According to this letter from the CEO of American Maglev,

The German train is a testament to great technological innovation, but it is indeed very expensive. Based on the experience in Shanghai, the cost of the German Maglev technology would be much closer to $60 million a kilometre than the $2 million suggested previously.

Wow. Is it true? The cost of Maglev seems to be a national secret right now and I cannot find any information on it.

Updated Oct 10, 2003

According to the Morning Post, the MagLev will begin trial business operation from tomorrow (Oct 11, 2003).

Although the sightseeing tour of Maglev has been operating for about half year, tomorrow is the first time the Maglev drop passengers at Pudong Airport – which means passengers will be able to use the Maglev for transportation propose only, not just for tour.

More Information

Updated April 21, 2004

Maglev started daily operation already. It operates from 8:30 to 17:30 at interval of 20 minutes. The ticket price for single trip is 50 RMB and 80 RMB for round trip.

Also on this Site


Update Inside Maglev

Inside Pudong Airport Maglev Train

Ziboy.com – Best Photolog in Beijing

Found a very good photolog ziboy.com today (via Chinese Tea). Sinosplice posted a nice interview with Wen Ling, the owner and photographer of ziboy.com. The interview was nice since John asked the questions I wanted to ask and Wen’s answers were to-the-point too.

Credit: Wen Lin from ziboy.com.

The unique perspective for the city shows us what the city really looks like. The people, the street scene and the signs – all look so familiar but cannot be found anywhere except in his photolog. He really know how to tell a story with his photos.

Here is the list of his work. Click on to see his fantastic work.























All pictures and links courtesy to ziboy.com

Upcoming TOEIC and MSF Practitioner Exams

I registered for the exam of 074-100 MSF Practitioner 21 days from today. I was convienced to register for an exam first will benifit the preparation by giving myself pressure. It is true. It is also true that by announcing the exam you are going to take will strengthen the pressure so force myself to learn harder. :-) True. (The course for this lesson is 1864) I will go to the Prometric center at Dong Hua Universtiry. Personally, I don’t like Prometic test center’s operation in China – the computers are old, the locations are hard to find. There is even no supervisor for in the class room.

The other exam I have registered is the TOEIC (Test of English For International Communication) exam the next week. I didn’t prepare for it right now since I think I can pass, although may not get a high score. TOEIC is becoming more and more popular recently in Shanghai. I can see this term in newspapers, especially on job related newspaper. Dozon of books have been published for preparation of this exam. Many multinational companies requie this certificate for their employees. To be honest, I didn’t know what it is half a year ago.

Updaed August 16, 2003

I attend the test this morning. It is the most unprepared exam I have ever attended. The score will come out in two weeks.

Updaed August 27, 2003

The TOEIC score comes out to be 915. I also got a PASS for MSF Practitioner Exam yesterday.

Interested in Degree Confluence Project

Today, I found very interesting stuff – the Degree Confluence Project via this thread (Chinese) of Digiblog.org

The goal of the project is to visit each of the latitude and longitude integer degree intersections in the world, and to take pictures at each location. The pictures and stories will then be posted here

Credit: Confluence.org

What an interesting project it. It reminded us there is only one earth. This is a very good reference for students to learn geography – I hope I had a teacher who knew about this project when I was at school. The pictures and the practice greatly help to learn the planet earth.

My Plan to Reach 40°N 116°E #1

There are 965 confluence points in China. 68 points were visited, making 7% of all the points. There is only one point in Shanghai at 31°N 121°E. The point was visited by Frank Yu and Sam Chang at the end of the year before last year. It seems relatively simple.

I am drafting my plan to visit the only point in Beijing at 40°N 116°E

Image courtesy of Confluence.org

Keith Ketterer and his family has attempted to go there but was not successful due to the unfavorable location of the point. Maybe I can have the second attempt to go there. It is near the downtown Beijing. I am planning to go there by bike so the trip is more flexible. This plan may be completed by the end of this year. The point may need some climbing work and may need ropes.

Other Possible Points

For other points, I am most likely to visit the eastmost two points on the 30°N line:

30°N 121°E and 30°N 122°E


Image courtesy of Confluence.org

Below is the points visited in the world map.

Image credit: Oribitals.com

At least the practice let me remember the latitude and longtitude of Shanghai is near 31°N 121°E.

Crime and Beggars in Shanghai

I feel guilty that I have promised Maria to answer her questions about critical issues of living and working in Shanghai as a foreigner Shanghai.

Hello, yeah sure i will explain what i mean with critical issues, i mean things like crime in the city and security issues, official days of holidays per year in shanghai, the oppeness from the local people toward foreigners and things like that. thankyou very much for taking the time to answer me and giving all this information.

By Maria

My frequent commentor Nick also posted just now and asked about crime situation in Shanghai.

Would you be able to comment on crime in the city? I read alot its bad in Shanghai. However I always feel very safe. Compared to America it is probably very safe so the perspective is different.

By Nick

Well. It seems to be a topic that most people, especially expats, are concerning regarding Shanghai. Let me share my experience.

Shanghai is Safe

I don’t have the exact number such as crime rate to support my statement, but Shanghai is regarded as one of the safest city in China. You can easily find girls walking alone on the street as late as 1:00 AM or even later. It is one of the indicator of the crime level of the city – I heard from my friends in Taipei that if a girl works late in Taipei, she will perfer to say in office for the whole night instead of taking the risk to go back home alone.


Beggars are the problem of most cities. In Shanghai, it is even worse. The most troublesome aspect of the begger problem in Shanghai is the false beggars – the group who pretend to lost job, to have no money for trip back home or no money for schools. Some even pretend to be disabled persons. Although there are still relatively low ratio of thus cases, but it really provide enough reasons for people to offer help.

I suggest to keep some coin and help the beggars, even though the problem to do so is to attract more beggers than you can afford… :-D

Here is a very intersting thread on ShanghaiExpat.com. In it, I noticed parkerfairfield‘s four simple rules for beggars.

I’ve 4 simple rules:

a) get in my way, I’ll walk OVER you . No, I won’t stomp on you, but I will not stop. I’ll keep walking. (And DON’T hold a hand out with money in it – i’ll take it…. and the aggressive as*es with a cup get the joy of picking up their change as I walk away.)

b) I’ll ONLY buy food for the ones that obviously need it. 99% of this group consists of babies/toddlers.

c) Money only is given to anyone not feeling sorry (read ‘begging’) for themself. E.g., playing music, humming, selling something (whether I WANT it or not). Other people can suck rocks.

d) I ALWAYS take whatever food was not consumed at any restaurant I’ve just eaten at, and try to find homeless to give it to … and if I can’t find someone, I leave it on top of a garbage can

Top Commenter of the Month

As always, I am going to announce the Top Commenters of the Month award for this website. The Top Commenter of the Month Award for July, 2003 goes to:

Nick 6

Kme 5

Yoda 4

Johnny 4

Gary Soup 4

Euthenics 4

Top 10 List

(Actually Top 18 since there are 10 persons posting 3 comments)

Jian Shuo Wang 87

Nick 6

Kme 5

Yoda 4

Johnny 4

Gary Soup 4

Euthenics 4

clerc 4

wufui wang 3

tatox 3

setiadis 3

pissed off 3

ace 3

Lo Yuk Fai 3

Kim 3


Ginn 3

Chris Mikeson 3


In July, 202 visitors contributed 354 comments to this website.

In June, 117 visitors contributed 216 comments to this website.

In May 2003, 175 visitors contributed 453 comments to this website.

In April 2003, 157 persons (distinguished by display name) posted 437 comments.

In the first 5 months of this blog (Sept 11, 2002 to March 31, 2003), 216 persons (distinguished by display name) posted 478 comments.

Beijing 2008 Olympic Emblem Unvieled


Credit: Beijing Olympic Organising Committee (BOCOG).

What do you think of this logo? Well. To me, the first impression is a little big disappointing. It is nature for any design possible – people need some time to get used to a new design.

After looking at it for about 1 minute, I totally accepted it and love it. It reflects the character of China’s culture – the seal, the calligraphic and stone-cutting….

Let us know how well you like it.

Trip to Xiamen

The company kickoff meeting was held in Xiamen. So I attended the meeting.

The following are some notes from the trip.

The Voyage to Xiamen

This is the first time I realized that Xiamen is a small island – I didn’t noticed it in my last trip there. The Xiamen Island definitely looks like a garden on the sea.


Credit: Xiamen Map

The distantages to travel by air is, the ignorance of the geographical relationships between the cities and the land. I didn’t realize it when I went by air. Regarding travel, if time and whether permit, I prefer to go by bike (I did before for my Taihu Lake trip) or even by foot (within the city), so the sense of the distance and directions is more clear. If I can drive (I am learning driving now), driving may also be a good choice. To take on a car driven by others will confuse me a lot, actually.

There are many flights to Xiamen everyday. Besides MU (Eastern Airlines) and FM (Shanghai Airlines), Xiamen Airlines offer most of the flights between Shanghai and Xiamen. Based in Xiamen, the MF (Xiamen Airlines) is a new airline and I never flew with them before. We were hosted in Jin Yan Hotel, an hotel setup by the Xiamen Airlines. It is interesting that airlines even operate hotels.

I read on this website about the ship M.V. Min Nam operating between Xiamen and Hongkong. I am very interested in it. I maybe will choose a route other than Xiamen to Hong Kong – maybe from Shanghai to Qingdao or Singapore….

The City

People in Xiamen is nice and all the services people were most gracious and hospitable. It may because of the beautiful scene and the comfort whether where they grow up. This is my second trip to Xiamen so I didn’t visit places like Gulang Yu for the second time.

Bicycle Friendly City

Xiamen is clear and clean, as island in the sea. The most impressive characteristic of Xiamen is, however, the bicycle friendly city. Most of the city in China are lack of the care for common residents in the city. We can see the inconvienience and unconsiderate for passengers, for buses…

In Xiamen, it is the first place I see to have special bicycle lane. It is built within the pedestrian. See the picture below. The red road is specially designed for bicycles, like a red carpet. The left side of the road is for walkers. As the effort to give more roads to cars, the original bicycle lane are marked as veichal lane. I think it is an innovative and good design.


© Jian Shuo Wang

Xiamen International Exhibition and Conference Center

My meeting was hosted in the XIECC. It is a very nice place for large scale meetings. In my oppion, it is even better than the Shanghai International Exhibition Center. The center has very nice view, with sea shores just near by.

© Jian Shuo Wang

The nearby Yue Hua Hotel.

© Jian Shuo Wang

Xiamen at Night

The night of the exhibition center. It was very nice time for me to seat on the grass before the center and face the wind from the sea.

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

Below: If you are curious, this picture is taken by myself – the person on the picture. I held the camera toward myself and clicked on the shutter button. The lights were from the exhibition center, the building behind me.

This effect is attributed to the scene mode of my Sony P8. It offers portrait and scene at night mode. In this mode, the camera first flash to lighten the foregroud portrait and then open the shutter for about 1 second to allow enough exposure for the scene at the background. At this time, I just moved the camera to produce the lines of the lights.

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

Below: Class and steel are widely used in the airport, conference centers and other buildings in Xiamen.

© Jian Shuo Wang

Visiting Xiamen the Second Time in My Life

I arrived in Xiamen in the crazy hot season today.

Below: This is the front end of the Holiday Inn where I stayed..


The Italian restraunant within the Holiday Inn is really nice. The Italian chef even walk around and show off his great master piece…


The old building near Zhen Hai Road – just out of the east door of Holiday Inn.


Residential building on Hu Bin South Road.


Shanghai Taxi Tickets

Taxi is part of people’s life – especially for people with relatively higher income in the city, just as cars are part of people’s like in U.S. Since more people cannot afford or won’t buy a car, taxis are convenient and cheap. Well. It is not as comfort and convenient as a family car, definitely.

Taxi Ticket

All the taxis in Shanghai will give machine-printed receipt. There is some very interesting and useful information on the ticket. If you check any of them, you will find the story behind each of the ticket. Here we go.


Her is a typical ticket – the majority of companies use this kind of ticket. Here is the translation into English:

Car No.       Do V6683

Driver No.     026473

Date       2003-07-08

Depart  (K0970) 16:14

Arrive          16:18

Unit Price   2.00 RMB

Mileage         1.5km

Wait Time    00:01.24

Far         10:00 RMB


Electricity 0 RMB Toll Fee 0 RMB

The telephone number, customer complain hotline and location of the taxi company are required to print on the header for all tickets.

The Car No. is the license No. for the car which is printed on the car plate.

The Driver’s No. is a 6-digit number assigned to the taxi driver. Any taxi driver can be easily found with this number. It is registered with Shanghai Taxi Administration. So you know the important to get a receipt when you get off – if you want to complain the taxi or lost your belongs on the taxi, just call the taxi company at the telephone number listed in the ticket and give the driver’s No.

Date, Departure and Arrival time are easy to understand.

The Unit Price is the last applied price per km in your journey. Here is the charging model of Shanghai taxi. According to a taxi driver from Nong Gong Shang, this price is not adjusted in the last 10 years.

05:00 – 23:00

Basic Price: 10 RMB including 3 km.
2.00 RMB / kilometer between 3.00 km to 10.00 km.
3.00 RMB / kilometer farther than 10.00 km.

23:00 – 05:00 next day

Basic Price: 13 RMB including 3 km.
2.60 RMB / kilometer between 3.00 km to 10.00 km.
3.90 RMB / kilometer farther than 10.00 km.

Waiting time

Waiting time is the time spend for stop or speed < 12 km/hour
Every 5 minute waiting time is converted to 1 km
The fee for the converted km is charged by the current time range and distance

So you see, there is a Wait Time field in the ticket. It is the time the taxi waits for the red lights or in traffic jam. So remember, when the taxi is waiting, you still have to pay.

Fee is the most important field. It is the money shown on the meter and also the money you need to pay. The fee is calculated using the rules shown above.

I am not sure about what the Electric Adjustment is. For the Toll Fee, it is the fee the taxi driver may pay for you. The only Toll Fee in Shanghai downtown is the 15 RMB on the road exiting Hongqiao Airport. Sometimes, the taxi driver will print it on the taxi ticket in this field, but most times, they just directly give you the original ticket for the toll fee.

Well. Now the only thing left is the K0970. I didn’t know what it means. It is on every taxi ticket. Sometimes, it will be K5820, K0640, but number other than 970 is rare. What is it?

Finally I called the taxi administration and they told me the answer: that is the technical identification for the model of the taxi meter. To be more specific, 970 means when the sensor in the meter get 970 pulse from the wheel, it will count as 1 km.


Above is another kind of the ticket. It has almost exactly the same layout as the first one, the only changes are:

1) The Layout of the Date and Time Field

Date 2003-06-16

Depart/Arriv 8:26-8:54

2) The Taxi Meter Only Print Numbers

Unlike the more advanced dot printed, the old fashioned printer can only print out numbers. So it faces the problem of representing the Car No. which consists both English letter and digits. Do V6683 is an example.

The smart guys there have found out the way to transform the English letters into numbers. The characters can be represented by their ASCII code. A = 65, B = 66….. Let’s take the ticket above as an example.



|   |  |  |

|   |  |  ==== 3741 = 3741

|   |  ======= 78 = N

|   ========== 66 = B

============== 970, means 970 pulse = 1 km 

Here is the mapping table.

65 A

66 B

67 C

68 D

69 E

70 F

71 G

72 H

73 I

74 J

75 K

76 L

77 M

78 N

79 O

80 P

81 Q

82 R

83 S

84 T

85 U

86 V

87 W

88 X

89 Y

90 Z

Taxi Fee Calculation Practice

Taking the last ticket as an example, we can see the taxi ticket calculation rule in action.

Car No.   970-66-783741

Driver No.       201010

Date          2003-6-16

Depart/Arrive 8:26-8:54

Unit Price     2.00 RMB

Mileage           3.5km

Wait Time          0:20

Far           19.00 RMB

Here is the calculation. :-)

Basic Fee                      ===> 10 RMB

3.5 km - 3.0 km = 0.5 km       ===>  1 RMB

20 mins * 1 km / 5 mins = 4 km ===>  8 RMB


Total      19 RMB